PurposeThis paper aims to study the competitiveness of subsistence small businesses (SSBs) and the use of the place to get competitive advantages. Complementarily the paper analyzes the intellectual capital as a possible mediator for the competitiveness of SSBs.Design/methodology/approachData were obtained by conducting surveys with owners and managers of wood-processing companies located in Misiones (Argentina), during 2015. The research uses principal component analysis and path analysis to study the relationships. The study introduces tangible resources and size as control variables.FindingsThe results show the importance of place as source of competitive advantages in SSBs. The SSBs present competitive advantages that generate better results. The place affects competitive advantages directly and indirectly through intellectual capital.Research limitations/implicationsThe data used refer to a certain period, so the use of the panel data enables generalizing findings over time. Sample is in a particular region and sector, and generalizations should be done carefully.Practical implicationsSSBs should raise the strategy integrating short and long term, which requires a strengthening of intellectual capital, especially in cooperation, professionalism and training.Social implicationsThe findings suggest specific support local policies to these businesses to improve their performance in developing countries.Originality/valueSSBs are very important in developing countries, but they are not sufficiently studied. This paper examines place-based competitiveness of SSBs and the moderation effect of dimensions of intellectual capital.
Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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